Filing an Application

Created on: 
Oct 02 2014

Revised December 31, 2013

Purpose:

This section includes rules and procedures on who can apply for benefits, how to apply for benefits and the minimum amount of information that must be provided to start the application process.

WAC 388-406-0005  Can I apply for cash or Basic Food?

WAC 388-406-0010  How do I apply for cash assistance or Basic Food benefits?

WAC 388-406-0012  What is the date of my application and how does it affect my benefits?


Clarifying Information - WAC 388-406-0005

1.  Applications by others:

For cash, medical assistance, and Basic Food, third parties (i.e., persons not applying for themselves or their legal dependents) may apply for other persons. To apply on someone's behalf, third parties must:

a.  Be familiar enough with the client's circumstances to complete the application accurately; and

b.  If we ask, tell us why they are applying on behalf of the applicant to help us identify if the applicant should get Equal Access (EA) services under chapter 388-472 WAC. Examples of when someone might apply for another person include when the applicant is:

  1. Mentally incompetent;
  2. Physically or mentally ill or otherwise incapacitated;
  3. A minor child;
  4. Deceased;
  5. Subjected to domestic violence;
  6. For Basic Food, living in a qualified DDD group home or qualified Drug & Alcohol treatment facility; or
  7. For ABD cash and medical programs, temporarily residing outside the state.
    NOTE: While many others can apply for benefits on behalf of clients, HIPAA restrictions prevent us from discussing the client's individual health information with the person making the application unless the representative has power of attorney for the client or the client has signed a DSHS 14-012(x), Consent form.

3.  Authorized representative:

An authorized representative can be any adult who is not a member of the AU and has sufficient knowledge of the client's circumstances to act on the client's behalf. In general, the client chooses who will be their authorized representative. For more information, see PAYEES ON BENEFIT ISSUANCES – Authorized Representatives.

4.  Applications while in a public institution:

Prior to release from a public institution, people may apply for public assistance. The CSO needs to accept these applications.

  1. Expedited medical assistance for people with mental disorders before release from public institutions.

    The enactment of House Bill 1290 in 2005 requires the department to perform expedited eligibility determinations and provide timely access to medical assistance by persons with mental disorders being released from confinement. The goal is to provide eligible people with a medical assistance identification card on the date they are released, whenever possible.

    • Work flow procedures will be developed as part of local agreements between the CSO and the institutions.
    • Direct questions to the State 1290 Coordinator.
    • Track 1290 and 1088 applications in aces.online. See ACES manual chapter Confinement and Release for detailed instructions.
  2. Dangerous Mentally Ill Offenders (DMIOs)

    The department (DSHS) has a state law-required agreement with the Department of Corrections (DOC) to accept Medicaid applications (in practice these are requests for DLX benefits), from an inmate who is classified as a dangerous mentally ill offender (DMIO). The CSO that serves the catchment area in which the correctional facility releasing the DMIO is located or an alternate CSO as designated by the Region Office must accept applications from inmates of that facility.

  3. Chemical Dependency Treatment

    People may apply for a determination of financial eligibility to allow the institution to arrange for chemical dependency assessment and treatment placement. Accept applications from a person whose situation is not described above, determine eligibility if possible or notify the person of necessary verification and schedule for follow-up after release.

  4. Program Options for Inmates

    The Department of Corrections (DOC) and county and city jails have a variety of programs that may be used in placing offenders outside public institutions. The Program Options for Inmates Matrix is intended to clarify how placement in a correctional options program affects a person's eligibility for public assistance benefits. A person who has been suspended from SSI for 12 months or less solely due to incarceration in a public institution is eligible to receive SSI medical (S01) on the date of his/her release from the institution.

    In compliance with House Bill 1290 (2005), the CSO will open an S01 medical AU from an application for a person meeting the criteria in section 4a (above). A Medical ID card is sent to the facility so that the applicant can leave the institution with the ID card in hand.

Worker Responsibilities -  WAC 388-406-0005

FOR NON-COMPLIANCE SANCTION (NCS) APPLICATIONS:

See WORKER RESPONSIBILITIES Non-Compliance Sanctions (NCS) Re-Applicants in WAC 388-310-1600


Clarifying Information - WAC 388-406-0010

The following topics related to the above WAC are discussed below:

NOTE: For the purposes of the following section, the term "local office" refers to CSO, Social Security Administration, and HCS offices.
NOTE: We cannot require or ask that a TANF applicant participate in a WorkFirst activity before we give them an application form.

Application Forms

  1. Opportunity to apply:

    Local offices must make application forms readily available and provide a form to anyone requesting one. Applying for benefits is separate from any other program requirements. We cannot refuse to give an application form to a client because they are not meeting other program requirements or for any other reason.

  2. Application filing:

    A client has filed an application when we receive a request for benefits. This means the client can get benefits from this date if all other eligibility requirements are met AND they complete an Application, Eligibility Review, or IID form. We can't require clients to use a specific form to request benefits. Examples of typical requests for benefits include:

    1. The ACES Request for Benefits (RFB);
    2. ACES 3G Interactive Interview Declaration (IID);
    3. The name, address, and signature on the DSHS 14-001(X) Application for Benefits form;
    4. The name, address, and signature on the DSHS 14-078(X) Eligibility Review form; or
    5. Part 1 of the online application.
    6. Another form of written request that includes a name, address, and signature.
    EXAMPLE  Bob sends a letter requesting Basic Food benefits and we receive it on October 1st. We send Bob an interview letter and he calls for an interview on October 7th. We pend his Basic Food for a completed IID which he returns on October 15th. Bob meets all eligibility requirements. His Basic Food starts October 1st.
    NOTE  We can't require the use of a specific form to request benefits. But we do require that clients complete an Application for Benefits, Eligibility Review, or IID form to complete their application. These forms contain information we must provide to our clients according to federal and state law.
  3. Adding a request for assistance to a pending application or eligibility review for another program:
    1. Clients can add a request for any benefits to a pending application or an unprocessed eligibility review without submitting a new 14-001 or 14-078.
    2. A client may make the request in writing by checking the appropriate boxes on the 14-001 or 14-078 form and, dating and initialing the form. For cash and food, the request can also be made verbally.
    3. Use the date the client added the new request as the date of application for the new program. See WAC 388-406-0012.
    4. If the application or eligibility review for the other program has already been processed, the client must submit a new application.
      EXAMPLE Jenny has a pending application for Basic Food. At her intake interview she requests TANF. Add the TANF application to the Basic Food and note the date of request prominently in the ACES narrative.
      EXAMPLE Sam has a pending application for ABD cash. At his intake interview the worker makes him aware that he may be eligible for Basic Food. He decides to pursue Basic Food. Add the Basic Food application to the ABD cash and note the date of request prominently in the ACES narrative.
      EXAMPLE Maria has a pending application for Basic Food. At her telephone intake interview, the worker makes her aware that she may be eligible for medical benefits. She decides to add a medical request. The worker must print and mail the application to Maria so she can mark her request for medical and to initial, sign and date the application. She will also need to complete the resource sections since they are not required for Basic Food.
  4. Handling multiple applications from the same household:
    1. Additional applications received before we determine eligibility on the first application:
      1. Do not deny the additional application(s);
      2. Review the application(s) for impact on eligibility or benefit level and whether the household is applying for any additional programs that were not selected on the first application;
      3. If the household is not applying for additional programs, document the case that additional application(s) were received and that the department is still considering eligibility under the original application date;
      4. If the household is applying for additional programs, treat the application as a new application for the additional programs only and continue to consider any requests for programs which are still pending under the original application date;
      5. Document in ACES to explain any additional information used to determine eligibility and/or benefit level; and
      6. Do not extend the Standards of Promptness period for the original application.
NOTE: If the additional application is received before we determine eligibility on the first application but is not acted on until after the first application has been denied, follow procedures under (b.) below.

b.  Additional applications received after we determine eligibility on the first application:

i.  If we denied the first application, treat this as an initial application according to WAC 388-406-0010 with the following exceptions:

  1. For Basic Food, if we denied the first application due to lack of information, treat this as a reapplication and follow procedures under WAC 388-406-0040 (6).
  2. For medical assistance, if we are still within the original 30 day reconsideration period under WAC 388-406-0065, send the client a pend letter for the information missing from the original denied application and any new information needed for the current application. Determine the appropriate medical coverage start date based on the date the client provides the missing information.

ii.  If we approved the first application, review the additional application(s) to determine if household circumstances have changed. Take appropriate actions on any changes reported; and

iii.  Deny additional applications for the same program and same persons to avoid duplicate participation:

  1. Use reason code 587;
  2. Send out the required denial letter (if not system generated); and
  3. Add text to explain that the application is being denied because the person(s) on the application is already receiving the requested benefits.
NOTE: Please Recycle! When denying additional applications as described in (c.) above, avoid creating a new AU if an old AU is available.

Name, Address, and Signature Requirements

  1. Name & address:

    If we receive an application without a name or address to contact the client we make any reasonable effort we can to contact the client to find out who the client is and where they can be reached. If the client is in the office, we ask the client for an address where they can be reached.

    Applications Marked “Homeless”:

    If we receive an application that includes a name and signature, but is marked "homeless" and/or does not indicate a mailing address, it is still considered a valid application and must be screened. Make a reasonable attempt to locate an address or phone number for the client. This can be done by searching the electronic case record, case narrative or remarks, online directories, etc. Even if contact information is not available, an appointment letter must be sent to the applicant. Address the letter in the client's name to General Delivery for the municipality indicated on the application. If no municipality is indicated, send the appointment letter to the client by General Delivery for the nearest municipality. The application must be processed in accordance with the Standards of Promptness guidelines in WAC 388-406-0035.

  2. Signatures:
    1. For cash, medical, or Basic Food, a representative may sign an application if the applicant is unable to apply on their own behalf or is unable to sign the application.
    2. For medical assistance, the applicant or representative must sign the application.
    3. For cash programs a responsible adult AU member must sign the application and if both parents of minor children are living in the home with the minor children, both parents must sign unless one is incapacitated and unable to sign the application.
    4. For Basic Food, the signature of one responsible AU member is required.
    5. A minor child may sign the application if there is no adult in the AU.
    6. A mark is an acceptable signature if another person witnesses it.
    7. Online applications for cash, medical, or Basic Food are electronically signed when transmitted. The password used to complete the online application is an electronic signature.
    8. Applications we receive without a signature must be signed either at the time of the interview or by mail. See matrix below for signature requirements and date of application for various programs.

Application Received

Online - for cash or Basic Food

Online - for medical assistance only or long-term care

In-person, mailed, emailed, faxed, dropped off, or scanned

Application Signed?

Yes
Always electronically signed when transmitted. If applying for cash and a 2-parent household with minor children, need additional signature of other parent.

Yes. Always electronically signed when transmitted.

May or may not be signed.  Does not need to be signed in order to be accepted.

Date of Application

Date received or next business day if received after business hours

Date received or next business day if received after business hours

If signed, date received or next business day if received after business hours.

 

If not signed, see "Action to Take".

 

For cash and food assistance, the signature on the front page of the application after the applicant's name counts as a signature for the purpose of establishing a date of application.

 

If two-parent household applying for cash, at least one parent's signature is required to establish the date of application.

Action to Take

Interview if required or desk review.  If applying for cash and a 2-parent household with minor children, get other parent's signature at interview or mail back for signature.

Desk review only. Only applicant needs to sign in 2-parent households.

If not signed, have client sign at interview (if the client is in the office) or mail back for signature.  The date we receive the signature is the date of application for food assistance.  If applying for cash and a 2-parent household, get the other parent's signatures.

NOTE: If we receive an application without a name, address, or a signature to file, we accept the application and take whatever action we can to contact the client to get the information needed to officially file the application. We must take action on all applications, even if there is information missing that is needed to file the application such as a name, address, or a signature.

Informational Handouts and Supplemental Forms:

  1. For all applicants:
  2. For cash or family medical assistance:
  3. For pregnant women, family medical, and cash assistance for applicants with children:
    • EPSDT Information Brochure, DSHS 22-019(X);
    • Women, Infants and Children (WIC) pamphlet to applicants who are pregnant, postpartum, or who have children under age five. Pamphlets are available to local WIC offices.
  4. For persons applying for Aged, Blind or Disabled cash assistance:
    • Medical Coverage Information, DSHS 14-194(X) - if an applicant indicates existing health insurance coverage in the Medical Information section of the DSHS 14-001(X) / 14-078(X) or while completing the ACES TPL1 screen. See Third Party Liability (TPL) and Child Support for completion and distribution instructions.
  5. Additional Requirements for Emergent Needs or the Consolidated Emergency Assistance Program - CEAP:

See EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE - Additional Requirements for Emergent Needs (AREN)or EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE - Consolidated Emergency Assistance Program - CEAP for forms needed when the client applies for benefits from these programs.

Review Alerts/ Ticklers

Check the AU's alerts for possible computer matches made after screening. Compare match information with information provided by the client. Discuss and clarify any discrepancies during the interview.

Interview

See INTERVIEW REQUIREMENTS and Documentation.

Changes Made to Correct an Application

  1. If possible, have the applicant or applicant's representative make the changes by:
    1. Drawing a line through the incorrect entry;
    2. Writing the correct entry; and
    3. Initialing and dating the change on the application.
  2. If the applicant or applicant's representative is not available to make the changes, follow the above procedures and document on the ACES remarks screen related to the change being made.

Special Situations

See APPLICATIONS FOR ASSISTANCE – Special Situations for the following situations:

  • Applicant temporarily out of state;
  • Medical applications by inmates of city or county jails;
  • Trial visit program; and
  • Persons paroled and released from state correctional institutions.
  • Applications for MSP from Social Security Administration Interface (LIS file).

 

Worker Responsibilities

Forms that must be reviewed with the household at the time of interview:

  1. Rights and Responsibilities

    Review form DSHS 14-113(X), Client Rights and Responsibilities with the household:

    1. Face to Face Interviews

      When conducting a face-to-face interview, explain the rights and responsibilities to the client and ask them to sign form DSHS 14-113 to acknowledge that they understand them. Send the document as file only to be scanned into the client’s Electronic Case Record (ECR).

    2. Phone Interviews:

      When conducting phone interviews, explain the rights and responsibilities to the client, send them a copy of form DSHS 14-113, and request them to sign and return the document.

  2. Your DSHS Cash or Food Assistance Benefits

    For cash or food assistance benefits, review form DSHS 14-520, Your DSHS Cash or Food Assistance Benefits with the household:

    1. Face to Face Interviews:

      When conducting a face-to-face interview, explain the allowable use of benefits to the client and ask them to sign DSHS 14-520 to acknowledge that they understand the restrictions and penalties for illegal use. Send the document as file only to be scanned into the client’s Electronic Case Record (ECR).

    2. Phone Interviews:

      When conducting phone interviews, explain the allowable use of benefits to the client, send them a copy of form DSHS 14-520, and request them to sign and return the document.

Informational Handouts and Supplemental Forms:

  1. For all applicants:
  2. For cash or family medical assistance:
  3. For pregnant women, family medical, and cash assistance for applicants with children:
    • EPSDT Information Brochure, DSHS 22-019(X);
    • Women, Infants and Children (WIC) pamphlet to applicants who are pregnant, postpartum, or who have children under age five. Pamphlets are available to local WIC offices.
  4. For persons applying for Aged. Blind or Disabled cash assistance:
    • Medical Coverage Information, DSHS 14-194(X) - if an applicant indicates existing health insurance coverage in the Medical Information section of the DSHS 14-001(X) / 14-078(X) or while completing the ACES TPL1 screen. See Third Party Liability (TPL) and Child Support for completion and distribution instructions.
  5. Additional Requirements for Emergent Needs or the Consolidated Emergency Assistance Program (CEAP):

    See EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE - Additional Requirements for Emergent Needs (AREN) or EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE - Consolidated Emergency Assistance Program (CEAP) for forms needed when the client applies for benefits from these programs.

Review Alerts/ Ticklers

Check the AU's alerts for possible computer matches made after screening. Compare match information with information provided by the client. Discuss and clarify any discrepancies during the interview.

Interview

See INTERVIEW REQUIREMENTS and Documentation.

Changes Made to Correct an Application

  1. If possible, have the applicant or applicant's representative make the changes by:
    1. Drawing a line through the incorrect entry;
    2. Writing the correct entry; and
    3. Initialing and dating the change on the application.
  2. If the applicant or applicant's representative is not available to make the changes, follow the above procedures and document on the ACES remarks screen related to the change being made.

Special Situations

See APPLICATIONS FOR ASSISTANCE – Special Situations for the following situations:

  • Applicant temporarily out of state;
  • Medical applications by inmates of city or county jails;
  • Trial visit program; and
  • Persons paroled and released from state correctional institutions.
  • Applications for MSP from Social Security Administration Interface (LIS file).
NOTE: See APPLICATIONS FOR ASSISTANCE - Expedited Service for Basic Food to determine if the applicant can get Basic Food within seven calendar days.
  1. Applicant lives outside of the local office catchment area
    1. Determine if the application is in the correct local office. If the application received is in the wrong local office, date stamp the application and fax it to the correct office no later than the next business day (see WAC 388-406-0010). The correct local office must get the application the same day we fax it.
    2. Tell or notify the client that the application was forwarded and give the applicant the name, location, and contact information for the correct local office.
    3. If the applicant lives outside the local office catchment area, but cannot return to his or her home for a temporary period, accept the application for processing in the local office. Such temporary absences from the home include the applicant's temporary stay in a:
      1. Hospital or nursing home;
      2. Shelter for victims of domestic violence; or
      3. Emergency shelter or other living arrangement when the applicant is a victim of a natural disaster. (e.g., flood).
  2. See APPLICATIONS FOR ASSISTANCE – Completing the Application Process for instructions on processing these applications after eligibility has been determined.

Clarifying Information - WAC 388-406-0012

Processing Basic Food Applications for Individuals Receiving Benefits from Another State during Month of Application

When clients apply for Basic Food and they received benefits from another state during the application month this does not change the date of application:

  • Deny the application for the initial month (and second month if necessary) if they have already received or will receive SNAP benefits from the other state for that month(s).
  • If Basic Food benefits can be approved for the ongoing months and the benefit start date is not more than sixty days from the initial application date, the client does not need to submit a new application.

Worker Responsibilities -  WAC 388-406-0012

  1. Date stamping the application:
    1. Date stamp the application, the same day we get the application, even if the application is sent to the wrong office; or
    2. The next business day if we received the application outside of normal business hours.
      NOTE: If you received an application without a signature and the client has now signed the application, do not date stamp the form a second time.
  2. Adding a request for Basic Food to a pending application:

    If the client has a pending application for one of our programs and requests Basic Food, use the application the client provided for the other program. The date the client requested food benefits is the date of application for Basic Food.

    1. Do not require the client to complete another application. If you need additional information to determine eligibility for Basic Food, request the necessary information;
    2. Document the request for Basic Food and the date the client requested the benefits; and
    3. Add a program for Basic Food.
      NOTE: If you have already processed the application for the other program(s), the client will need to apply for Basic Food separately. See Clarifying Information #4 under WAC 388-406-0010 for details about handling multiple applications from the same household.

ACES Procedures